Strong public school systems are the foundation to strong communities. Investments in pre-K programs, improving teacher and classified staff compensation, and protecting K-12 public school funding are each critical pieces of improving educational outcomes for Arkansas kids. We must ensure Arkansas graduates are ready to compete with out-of-state students in higher learning institutions.
Infrastructure & Economic Development
Strong economic growth starts with thriving families, sustainable infrastructure, and workforce development. We need to update the Arkansas tax code to put more money in the pockets of working families, not top earners. In Northwest Arkansas, we must get ahead of exponential growth using public transportation and innovative planning.
Arkansas ranks #45 in the Country
According to this article published in June 2018, U.S. News ranks Arkansas among the lowest in the United States in categories such as Healthcare, Opportunity, Infrastructure, and Education. Sadly, this is not a new phenomenon for Arkansas. Failure to embrace social change, resistance to innovation, and poor recognition of governing shortfalls have long contributed to Arkansas remaining at the bottom of the pile.
So, why should Arkansans care about this number or where we rank...? It's simple: jobs.
Opportunities for hard-working individuals to improve their financial situation are dependent on economic growth. Bottom line, growth goes where it can be supported and maintained with expanding infrastructure, a healthy workforce, and an educated population that offers businesses talent and innovation they can't source elsewhere.
In 2018, that is not Arkansas. But, it could be--if legislators start addressing the root causes of these issues instead of making decisions based on expediency, campaign-donation dollars, or personal gain. We will never meet our potential as a state if we continue to send folks to Little Rock who can't play the long game, or those who choose to side with deep pockets over everyday Arkansas families.
It's time to take a hard look in the mirror, and start having real conversations about how and why we compare so poorly with other states. It's time to invest in the human capital necessary for Arkansas to be competitive in classrooms and boardrooms alike. It's time to stop giving the job of governing to those who have no interest in improving quality of life for all those being governed.
It's time for change.
Get involved! Find out who your local and state government officials are...and find out if they're representing your interests.
Use your voice. Use your vote.